Scholars have offered various approaches to create a synthetic view of the Middle Woodland period that integrates geographically expansive and heterogenous material remains. Situation theory offers a synthetic analytical approach to the multiplicity of Middle Woodland ceremonialisms, allowing us to conceive of how people and communities across the midcontinent got caught up in shared conditions. Scioto situations—the Middle Woodland situations occurring within the central Scioto River valley of southern Ohio—have long been famous for their earthen monuments and ornate material symbols. This article analyzes Scioto situations through an examination of the monument assemblage of the Steel Group—an earthwork site with at least 13 earthen enclosures. In doing so, it offers an approach to monumentality that grounds interpretations of the aesthetic and physical nature of monuments within the complicated historical entanglements from which they emerged.

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